For many in the UK ad business Tesco – the UK's largest supermarket operator and a major advertiser – is not the first name that comes to mind among major media owners.

But the 751-outlet chain (H1 pre-tax profit £804m) has fingers in many media pies – vehicle fleet, shopping carts, instore Tesco TV and its profitable direct-selling website.

To boost its already healthy media sales and integrate the media marketing effort, the supermarketeer has launched Tesco Media Services, an in-house buying agency specialising in trans-media campaigns across its inhouse media properties.

Explains corporate purchasing director Andrew Batty: "Customers have told us they want advertising to be relevant, which is why our new streamlined approach to retail media activity helps support our suppliers by giving customers what they want.

But isn't this just another method of screwing yet more cash from Tesco suppliers?

Batty's solicitude was touching: "We're confident this approach will help many of our smaller suppliers grow their business by running more targeted campaigns and seeing higher returns for their investment," he said.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff